Welcome to Axios World, where two evenings a week we break down the big stories from around the globe.
Pro-democracy student demonstrators face to face with police during the funeral ceremony of liberal reformer Hu Yaobang in April 1989. The protests were crushed six weeks later. Photo: Catherine Henriette/AFP/Getty Images
Thirty years ago right about now, Chinese troops were beginning a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square that would leave an estimated 1,000–1,500 dead.
Flashback: What began in April as student demonstrations tied to the death of a reformist former leader, Hu Yaobang, “swelled as older people joined and the list of demands broadened,” writes Willis Sparks of GZERO Media.
What happened next, on the morning of June 4, is infamous around the world and a closely guarded secret in China.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has rewritten textbooks, authored propaganda and aggressively censored any information related to the massacre in an effort to erase not only historical memory of it, but also the democratic idealism that powered the protests.
The crackdown “cut short a decade of Chinese political enlightenment,” Minxin Pei writes for Nikkei Asian Review.
The big picture: 1989 is remembered in the U.S. and Europe as a time of democratic possibility because of an event that happened five months later — the fall of the Berlin Wall, Gideon Rachman writes in the FT.
A scene with many hats. Trump was perhaps wise to leave his at home. Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
The first day of President Trump’s state visit to the U.K. concluded with a state dinner this evening at Buckingham Palace.
Trump praised the queen and the spirit of the British people in his toast. He was less diplomatic on Twitter earlier in the day.
Trump also weighed in on British politics before even setting foot in the U.K.
1. "Sudan’s ruling military moved to crush the protest movement opposing its grip on power as security forces overran the main sit-in site in the capital early Monday, unleashing furious volleys of gunfire, burning down tents and killing at least 30 people," per AP.
2. "Algeria’s constitutional council scrapped a presidential election planned for July 4 citing a lack of candidates, prolonging a period of political transition and risking more anger from protesters," per Reuters.
3. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the U.S. is now prepared to hold talks with Iran "with no preconditions" but will also keep up its "maximum pressure" campaign.
Former opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez (R) is a charismatic Harvard graduate. But it's Guaidó who has the megaphone now. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP/Getty Images
In a New Yorker profile published today, Jon Lee Anderson paints Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as an "accidental president" and an ordinary guy with a few quirks, like keeping an astrologer in his entourage.
Still, he quickly became a vessel for the hopes of millions. Anderson describes women at a rally with "their hands in the air, like believers at a Pentecostal sermon."
The view from Washington has changed. Anderson writes that there had been concerns in Caracas over muscular rhetoric from the likes of Sen. Marco Rubio and John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser. Now, he writes, "Trump seems to have lost interest in a confrontation."
The suffering in Venezuela continues. Anderson describes slum dwellers waiting 10+ hours to fill a bucket from a trickle of water.
The latest: Talks in Oslo between representatives of Guaidó and Maduro ended without any agreement last week, but both sides say they should continue.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
I've been studying the full conversations our "Axios on HBO" colleagues had with former holders of America's top national security positions — Leon Panetta, David Petraeus, Janet Napolitano, Lisa Monaco and H.R. McMaster — highlights of which aired in our season 2 premiere last night.
Between the lines: Many of the global threats they highlighted are familiar: Russian aggression, nuclear brinkmanship, cyberattacks. But one concern that cropped up multiple times was that America has never faced such a tangled web of threats at a time of such internal division.
Take climate change, which Napolitano described as a threat multiplier. There's no political consensus on what to do about it, or whether to do anything at all.
What to watch: Another threat Panetta cited was growing collaboration between China and Russia.
Go deeper: Read our special report
You may have already seen the viral clip on Trump and birtherism, but there were some good nuggets on foreign policy as well.
Worth noting: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Jewish leaders in a closed-door meeting that he understands why people might think the administration's Middle East peace plan "is going to be a deal that only the Israelis could love," the Washington Post reports.
Storks gather in Salem, southern Germany. Perhaps a local family is expecting nonuplets. Photo: Felix Kastle/AFP/Getty Image
“Yes, I paid a price, but I have never regretted it for a moment. I feel so much more fortunate than those who lost their lives, and I feel a responsibility to make sure that our people know our history — not the history written by those in power, but the truth.”— Dong Shengkun, who spent 17 years in prison after the Tiananmen protests, speaking to the Washington Post
Thanks for reading — see you Thursday evening.